Daily news - 15th October 2018

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UK news

Early day motion 1682 - Alcohol charter

That this House is alarmed that alcohol treatment services have been severely cut while the affordability and availability of alcohol, and alcohol dependency, have increased dramatically; notes that liver disease is now the only major cause of death in the UK which is rising... | Parliament.uk, UK

Question Time - debate on drug related deaths - BBC iPlayer

[Watch from 33.5 minutes in] David Dimbleby presents topical debate from the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh including a question on Scotland's drug related death rate | BBC, UK

Are drug related deaths in the UK the highest in the EU?

David Dimbleby’s figures on the number of drug-related deaths in England, Wales and Scotland are correct for deaths registered in 2017 | Full Fact, UK

Early day motion 1653 - Drug related deaths

That this House notes that there were 3,756 deaths relating to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2017; further notes that this is the highest number on record; is alarmed that deaths due to Fentanyl and cocaine continue to rise; and calls on the Government to take urgent action to increase access to the opiate-overdose antidote Naloxone and reverse the detrimental disinvestment in drug treatment services | Parliament.uk, UK

Buprenorphine: Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure Buprenorphine remains affordable in light of the drug's recent increase in price | They work for you, UK

Rescheduling of cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Today, the Government is laying the Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) () Regulations 2018 (“the 2018 Regulations”) in the House. These regulations reschedEngland, Wales and Scotlandule cannabis-based products for medicinal use and will come into force on 1 November 2018 | They work for you, UK

Medicinal cannabis should be available for all NHS patients, campaigners say

Medical cannabis should be made available for all NHS patients, campaigners have said, amid expectations it will only be prescribed to help treat three conditions | Telegraph, UK

The Colour of Injustice: ‘Race’, drugs and law enforcement in England and Wales

This report – by StopWatch, Release, and LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit - documents the disproportionate impact that drug law enforcement continues to have on black and minority ethnic communities in England and Wales | StopWatch, Release, LSE, UK

Racial bias in police stop and search getting worse, report reveals

Despite reforms, black people are nine times more likely than white people to be checked for drugs | Guardian, UK

Black Mamba 'available' in Birmingham homeless hostel

In the past year, two deaths thought to be linked to the synthetic drug have occurred at Washington Court, one of the city's largest homeless hostels | BBC, UK

Pregabalin: There’s Been A Huge Surge In Deaths Linked To ‘The New Valium’

'It’s terrible to come off. It’s not just physical, it’s mental torture.' | Huffington Post, UK

Alcohol-related liver disease admissions still rising

The latest figures from Public Health England (PHE) show hospital admissions for liver disease continue to rise, with a total of 20,202 admissions for alcoholic liver disease in 2016/17 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Diabetics up to ten times as likely to die from alcohol than the general population, report finds

People with diabetes are up to ten times as likely to die from the effects of alcohol as the average person – and the problem is getting worse, according to a new study | i news, UK

Save the pub or safeguard health? The battle raging over the price of a pint

As industry pushes for chancellor to cut beer duty to help save pubs, experts call £9m campaign ‘irresponsible’ | Guardian, UK

London millennials shunning the pub for the gym - video

For some Friday night means a well-earned pint or a glass of wine | BBC, UK

This Journalist Tried Chemsex And Ended Up Dealing Drugs To 3,000 Men

 Cameron Yorke ditched his job to become a major chemsex drug dealer – and lost everything. "It was a roller coaster I couldn't get off," he tells BuzzFeed News | BuzzFeed, UK

Searching for magic mushrooms in Wales with the people who swear by them

Magic mushrooms are illegal and a class A drug and may be harmful to people's health, but that doesn't stop some people searching the hills for them | Wales Online, UK

Alcohol Research UK & Alcohol Concern seek trustees & Dry January evaluation

The organisation formed as a merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK is seeking ​up to six new trustees from a variety of backgrounds to join its board | Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK, UK

Doncaster’s most vulnerable set to benefit from monthly pop-up hub

Vulnerable people and rough sleepers in Doncaster are set to benefit from a monthly town centre pop-up hub, which provides support and an opportunity to reconnect with health services in a bid, to help them turn their lives around | Aspire, UK

Jersey GPs could prescribe medicinal cannabis

Islanders are currently able to receive a free prescription for a cannabis-based painkiller | ITV, UK

Tackling Pain Together

On Thursday BDP hosted this year’s first Pain Management workshop. Held in partnership with the Pain Clinic Services from North Bristol NHS Trust, we sat down with Occupational Therapist, Bev, and BDP’s Mike Swanston to find out more about the course they’re running together | BDP, UK

Scottish brewery sector sees 'explosive growth'

Scotland's brewing industry has enjoyed "explosive growth" since 2010 as craft beers have become increasingly popular, according to new research | BBC, UK

Video: 'I regret grooming young drug dealers'

Matthew Norford, who now raises awareness on the impact of gang crime, said the children were "pawns" in a lucrative business known as "county lines" | BBC, UK

Ally McCoist: Withdrawing Paul Gascoigne's Hall of Fame nomination 'an embarrassment'

Former Rangers boss Ally McCoist claims the decision to withdraw Paul Gascoigne's nomination for the Scottish Football Hall of Fame is an "embarrassment" to the game north of the border | Telegraph, UK

Drill rapper Daniel Olaloko jailed over county lines drug scam

A drill rapper from south London has been jailed for seven years for selling drugs in a county lines operation | BBC, UK

'County lines' arrests over drug supplies in Kent and London

Nineteen people suspected of supplying drugs have been arrested as part of a "county lines" police investigation | BBC, UK

Bedford drug-driver jailed over hit-and-run death

A hit-and-run driver who killed an Irish banjo player while high on drugs has been jailed for eight years | BBC, UK

North Belfast men jailed over £125,000 cocaine operation

Two north Belfast men have been been jailed for their part in a "well organised'' £125,000 cocaine and cannabis dealing operation | BBC, UK


International news

Cannabis in Canada: Who wins and who loses under new law

Canada is about to become the second nation to fully legalise recreational cannabis. When prohibition comes to an end on 17 October, Canadian adults will be able to purchase and consume the drug from federally licensed producers | BBC, UK

In crackdown, U.S. FDA seeks details on new electronic cigarettes

Faced with a proliferation of new electronic cigarettes and a sharp rise in teen vaping, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday sent letters to 21 electronic cigarette manufacturers seeking information to assess whether the products are being marketed illegally | Reuters, UK

Nile Rodgers: 'I kicked drink and drugs after bad gig'

Music legend, 66, reveals on Desert Island Discs how party at Madonna’s house sparked sobriety | Guardian, UK

Elon Musk says 'Teslaquila' is 'coming soon' as Tesla files trademark

Billionaire tweets ‘visual approximation’ of bottle as company applies to use the name for tequila branded after the electric cars | Guardian, UK

Why California Has Largely Been Spared Fentanyl Deaths—So Far

America’s crisis of drug-overdose deaths has largely spared California. At 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, California’s rate of fatal overdoses is among the lowest in the nation. But there are signs that is changing | Filter Magazine, USA

Despite crisis patients perceive opioids as superior and expect them for postsurgical pain

Even with concerns about addiction, side effects and the other risks of opioids dominating headlines, a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2018 annual meeting found people expect to be prescribed opioids and perceive them to be the most effective form of pain relief after surgery | Medical Xpress, USA

Medical marijuana might help MS patients, but uncertainty remains

Medical products derived from marijuana might have a mild benefit in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, based on reports from patients | Medical Xpress, USA

CRISPR gene editing creates cocaine-proof mice, aims to crack addiction puzzle

Gene editing has already given us malaria-resistant mosquitoes and heat-resistant cows. Now, researchers from the University of Chicago may have topped both of those feats with their latest creation: Cocaine-resistant mice | Digital Trends, USA

Online sales of e-cigarettes and vape: What FDA regulations could mean

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is putting a spotlight on the fast-growing e-cigarette and vaping industry and is considering more regulations of these products, including banning all online sales of e-cigarettes and banning flavored vape products | Digital Commerce, USA

Weed in space is going to be a thing now

Scientists interested in cannabis as a subject for pharmaceutical studies may find an unlikely new home for their research into the plant, its byproducts and biochemistry aboard the International Space Station | Tech Crunch, USA

The vote was condemned by international groups and officials as “unconscionable” but praised by Philippine officials as a “vindication” amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war | NYTimes, USA

If cannabis use increases after legalization, government must alter the act

If cannabis use increases after legalization of recreational cannabis on October 17, the Government of Canada should commit to changing the act to prevent negative health effects, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journalhttp://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.181287 | EurekAlert, Canada

'Needless deaths': Calls for heroin antidote to be widely available

Three deaths from suspected heroin overdoses in Canberra in one week has renewed calls for the so-called heroin antidote naloxone to be more widely available | Canberra Times, Australia

The bid to ban 'poppers': public health necessity or an act of discrimination?

Amyl nitrite is immensely popular among gay men - but now an outright ban on the liquid is being weighed up | Age, Australia

Government considering law change allowing drug testing at festivals

The Government is considering a law change to make drug testing at festivals legal and help stop festival-goers ending up in hospital | News Hub, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Community action has little impact on harms from alcohol use disorder

What makes an individual vulnerable to the risks of drinking alcohol? The answer is complicated. Many factors contribute to increased risk of alcohol use disorder harm, including individual, social and environmental factors (Stone et al, 2012) | Menta Elf blog, UK

Will I Be Able To Get Cannabis Prescribed On The NHS?

Only consultants will be able to prescribe cannabis and it will be entirely up to each consultant to make a decision about individual patients. The definition of cannabis-derived medicinal products is sufficently wide that both oils and herbal cannabis manufactured to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards will be available | Clear blog, UK

Susan Swarbrick: Why I'm not a fan of Sober October

I'm not a fan of Sober October. It's bad enough that Dry January is a thing. Now we have a biannual dose of halo polishing from those pledging to stay off booze for a month | Herald, UK

Hedonism, once the height of youth culture, has lost its cool factor

Young people are too worried about money, housing and mental health to waste resources on binge-drinking | Guardian, UK

Why I don't drink: the Londoners who 'say no to alcohol' as third of under-25s quit booze

Young Londoners have today told why they have opted to turn their backs on alcohol after a study suggested almost a third of young people are going sober | Evening Standard, UK

Experience: I threw away a pop career to deal drugs

I passed out on a record executive’s shoulder, ending my record deal before it began. He’d seen it all before | Guardian, UK

Just as surely as everyone desperately hopes the opioid death crisis in Canada will not get worse, latest federal indicators suggest that the number of deaths in 2018 will be at least as high, if not higher than the previous record year of 2017 | Globe and Mail opinion, Canada

ABC disingenuously makes ice the focus of its National Wastewater Drug Monitoring report coverage

Reporters are once again exaggerating and misrepresenting illicit drug use by retaining focus on prime time’s favourite drug scapegoat, methamphetamine | AOD MediaWatch, Australia

Are you suffering from Midlife Anxiety Drinking Disorder?

Nigella Lawson has long been an icon for women, especially for those who have grown up alongside her as she evolved into an internationally renowned cook, author and television personality | Age opinion, Australia

Smoking and the dangers of complacency

When I tell people I’m a scientist and physician working on population health, they usually react with interest. When I tell them that one of my priorities is investigating the effects of smoking on health, the look of interest often changes to one of concerned sympathy, before they lean towards me and quietly break the news: “But it says it on the packet” | MJA Australia

Making marijuana legal would have an immediate effect on Māori lives

The problem with the debate over recreational marijuana use in New Zealand is encapsulated in that single sentence. It's hard to take it seriously; but at the same time we've always taken marijuana use way too seriously. We chuckle at weed, and its wacky users, while we send people to prison and ruin lives over it. It is simultaneously a running joke, and an urban-legend horror story | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand